March 5, 2012
That’s fair and square. I just saw the funniest television commercial. It had Ellen in it and the sound was muted so Matt was narrating it. It was set in ancient Greece and everyone was wearing togas in a big crowded square. Matt’s narration included the crowd yelling “crucify her” and the identification of the Ten Commandments. By that time it was so funny we decided to rewind and listen to the real soundtrack. Basically it was about the history of store return policies and the stone tablet that Matt cast as the Ten Commandments was someone’s receipt. The conclusion was, “we’ll take back anything, anytime – that’s fair and square.”
What was fair and square for Jesus? He certainly didn’t go back to God, asking to back out of his deal at the midnight hour. But God doesn’t seem like a “no returns, no exchanges” kind of guy either. We come back to God all the time: seeking a better deal, wanting to make an exchange, trying to give back what we feel is not a good fit. Yet God asks for no receipts, no documentation, no proof that we followed the rules and so should get what we want.
Is that fair and square? No, that is the point of grace. The reason we celebrate new life with Jesus is that it is a free gift from God. It isn’t a deal we broker or something we earn. Grace just flows to us. We can come back any time, we can make excuses for ourselves, lie, delude ourselves and try to pull one over on God BUT God not only gives to us, God knows our garbage before he sees us. And then, God gives us things to help us get rid of that garbage. The secret to God’s retail outlet is that God wants us to have the perfect fit. God wants for us to find that perfect life that is everything we were created for. God will make exchange after exchange until we get every single detail right.
For God, that is what is fair and square. God created us, God loves us, God wants us to have perfection. It may take a long, long time; but God is patient and God is kind. No matter what we do, God will be ready and waiting for us to come back one more time, make another exchange and find the right fit. Go back to God. I’m sure you have something you are not happy with. Something God is just waiting to exchange.